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Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus? - Dhamma Wheel

Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
whynotme
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Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby whynotme » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:42 pm

Hi,

What do you consider the limit of not killing? Do you kill small bugs, ants, or do you consider bacteria, virus are living things? What things determine a living thing, and should not be killed? Size, nervous system, biological structure?

Wish I could ask the Buddha himself but can not so I ask for your opinions. It is an important question I need the answer.

Regards.
Last edited by whynotme on Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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daverupa
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:49 pm

Whether it can be observed to breath or not, iirc.

David2
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby David2 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:55 pm

Every animal that has a nervous system should not be killed, because those animals have the ability to suffer.

Killing bacteria is not worse than killing plants... bacteria don't suffer, as carrots don't suffer.

Killing bacteria is ok... our body is killing thousands of them every day on its own anyway. :lol:
(Without killing those thousands of bacteria every day, we would die within few days.)

santa100
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby santa100 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:00 pm

Bugs, ants, insects,... belong to the animal kingdom, so yes, they're definitely living beings we should avoid killing intentionally. As far as virus and bacteria, I wouldn't go too far as to avoid taking medicine after catching a nasty viral infection or a flu. But the best way is to stay in shape, eat right, exercise,... so you wont' catch a cold and won't have to use antibiotics/antiviral...

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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby David2 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:02 pm


chownah
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby chownah » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:04 pm

I think that usually the distinction is whether it is sentient or not.....I'm not sure if there is scriptural support for this or not but it is a common view...which of course points us to the question of how to define sentience......also, in a thread in a forum which is no longer functioning it was discussed about whether killing different things had different kamma and I think the scriptures supported the idea that larger animals had worse fruits than smaller ones......it was suggested by some that it was the neurological complexity that was the determinant but no Pali scriptural references were found to support that notion.
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby chownah » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:12 pm

I just thought of something....didn't the Buddha teach something to the effect that all beings fear death?.....if he taught that then perhaps if an animal is so undeveloped that they can not have the fear of death then they are exempt from the killing precept?....just wondering....never thought of this before....
chownah

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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby David2 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:15 pm


whynotme
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby whynotme » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:40 pm

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acinteyyo
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:45 pm

Did someone ever thought about that it's not so much about whether or not a "being" suffers from being killed but rather that it is about (the killer who's going to suffer because of) the state of mind which happens to be when the intentional act of killing is carried out? Maybe what should be considered killing does not depend on WHAT will be killed but whether or not there is the intention of killing whatsoever... know what I'm trying to say?

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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cooran
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby cooran » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:03 pm

Hello all,

I am concerned because an inspection seems to indicate that my home has borers in the framework of the roof. I need to eradicate them or they will destroy the house. What to do? I've had a few sleepless nights worrying about this. I would be grateful for any thoughts on this, with textual links if possible.

Regarding viruses:
Here is an old post by Ven. Dhammanando on Dhammastudygroup:

> a) Are viruses living beings?
> b)Are bacteria living beings?

I don't think this is known for sure. The Pali texts refer to the "two
hundred families of worms" that share our bodies, and since the texts
seem to assume that they inhabit everyone's body one can't limit the
meaning to just tapeworms and the like, which afflict only some
persons. And so it might be tempting to identify these with bacteria
and viruses. However, the subject only comes up in the context of
descriptions of asubha meditation, and so the writers don't digress
into a discussion of how large these "worms" are or whether they are to
be classed as anything more than one-facultied beings (like plants).

> c) Is killing viruses bad kamma?
> d) Is killing bacteria bad kamma?

I think not. In Vinaya texts the precept against intentional killing is
broken only if the being killed is large enough to be visible to the
human eye.

> e) Can one be reborn as a virus? If so which plane (out of 31 planes
> of existence) is it?
> f) Can one be reborn as a bacteria? If so which plane (out of 31
> planes of existence) is it?

If viruses and bacteria are sentient beings, then yes. If not, then no.
If they are sentient beings then they would have to be included with
animals, since they are too small to be any other kind of amanussa.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/66316

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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tiltbillings
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:00 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:08 pm

from dhammawiki; may as well line up the resources.

"Salt cube in the Ganges" sums it up for me.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:13 pm

Even for vegans, a line has to be drawn some where. For me, a clear line is in the biological kingdoms of life. Opinions vary, but many biologists place it as:

Kingdom of Algae
Kingdom of Bacterium
Kingdom of Fungi
Kingdom of Plants
Kingdom of Animals (includes humans)

The animal kingdom consists entirely of sentient beings. For the other kingdoms, it is not quite so clear and there is no rebirth to these kingdoms. Therefore, a clear line, imo, is that there should be no killing (or as little as possible, at least without intent) to all members of the Animal Kingdom. Beyond that, we need to breathe and eat.
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santa100
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby santa100 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:55 pm


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cooran
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby cooran » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:24 pm

Hello Santa100,

Can't seem to find them here:
http://www.yourhomedepot.com.au/

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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daverupa
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:29 pm

That might be because electronic pest control is bogus.



The evidence for these devices comes solely in the form of testimonials, but alas, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data".

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mikenz66
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:35 pm

Hi Chris,

I'm sure you've heard this before, but the survival of any living being (such as you or me) is in some ways detrimental to other living beings. Building the house in the first place undoubtedly killed many beings, either directly or by depriving them of habitat. I think that it is important to recognise that all we can do is reduce our impact, not eliminate it.

:anjali:
Mike

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cooran
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby cooran » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:44 pm

thanks Mike, all,

The problem lies with 'intentional' and 'unintentional' when it comes to Kamma-vipaka.

There are very many beings (borers) in the timber. To hire a Pestie to treat the house would be intentional action. But to not hire a Pestie would mean the house will become ruined, and I won't be able to sell it - which is my intention in the next year - and this is a financial need.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:24 pm

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